“The umpire is in the firing line” is a cliche that we come across every now and then, but today, poor Aleem Dar was literally in the firing line. Mitchell Santner ran for cover in a desperate attempt to back-up Tim Southee’s awry throw, but in the process, ended up accidentally tackling umpire Dar.
Umpire Aleem Dar has been quite the superstar in this match so far. On Day 2, he showcased his agility by pulling off a ‘ballet-like jump’ to make way for a Travis Head pull shot to make its way to the boundary and earlier today, he showcased a ‘hat trick’ (by which, I mean he caught a flying hat with his hands).
Be it Tim Southee’s crazy inswinger to bowl Matthew Wade or Marnus Labuschagne’s hilarious solo appeal/celebration, weirdly enough, the post-dinner session of this Perth Test has given us many an interesting moment so far, but what happened today might just have topped both the incidents on Day 1 and Day 2 respectively.
With Australia cruising at 111/1 with both Burns and Labuschagne well set, the Kiwis were kind of desperate for a breakthrough. And with both the right-handers looking as assured as ever, it did seem like a run-out was the only way the Blackcaps were going to get a breakthrough. And on the fourth ball of 36th over, a slight miscommunication between Labuschagne and Burns - where the former sent the latter back to the bowler’s end - meant that Burns had to scamper back to the crease and put in a desperate dive to save his wicket.
The bowler Tim Southee sniffed the half-chance and instantly pounced on the ball, letting go an extremely powerful throw towards the stumps. Whilst the throw did have power, it was anything but accurate. And in an attempt to prevent any potential overthrow, Mitchell Santner rushed to the bowler’s end to back-up the throw. However, Santner was so focused on the ball that he completely missed the towering presence of umpire Aleem Dar who was stood right in front of him, and as he was running towards the stumps, clattered into the Pakistani umpire.
Dar was instantly floored due to the impact of the collision and lay on the ground for a good couple of minutes as the physios attended to him. And after the physio brought out the ‘magic spray’ Dar, like the soldier he is, got back on his feet and carried on, bringing about a sense of relief on poor Santer’s face. Everyone, including both Santner and Dar, saw the funny side of things and all in all, it made for one extremely chaotic yet hilarious moment. On the flipside, Santner might just fancy a stint with the All Blacks. He does seem to have good tackling skills.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the incident:
Aleem Dar's knee is gone.— 🏴2019🏆We hit more Boundaries than NZ (@BackOnYourTL) December 14, 2019
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Mitchell Santner getting revenge on Aleem Dar for all of us...#AUSvsNZ— Sunil Awasthi (@sa9321) December 14, 2019
Gee Aleem Dar could get a run in the English Premier League ... #AUSvNZ— Paul Cochrane (@paulcochrane) December 14, 2019
Aleem Dar making the most of his moment here 🙈— Brett Ernst (@brett_ernst) December 14, 2019
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